3 of 7 suspects in attempted Medawar robbery charged

Robbery suspects from left to right: Darnell Kenneth-Maurice Brown, Charles Milton Fortune, Zackary Ian Cender. (January 24, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Three of the seven suspects who were arrested in the attempted robbery at Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry were formally charged Monday.

Charles Fortune, 22, Zackary Cender, 18, and Darnell Brown, 23, all of East Lansing were each charged with first degree conspiracy to commit retail fraud. If convicted, they could face five years in prison.

Authorities believe there are at least four other suspects who remain on the run. Originally police told 24 Hour News 8 they were looking for two other suspects, but they increased that number to four on Tuesday.

Three of the five suspect on a bench in the Kent County jail for a video hookup to the courtroom to be charged. (Jan. 26, 2015)
(Three of the seven suspects in the Kent County jail waiting to be charged. Jan. 26, 2015)

Police say about a week ago the group worked on a plan together to rob Rolex watches from Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry at 4518 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township.

On Friday morning, the suspects drove from East Lansing and staged getaway cars on their way to the jewelry store, according to court documents.

Police said four of the suspects attempted a smash-and-grab robbery inside the store, but an employee fired one shot with a gun, and the suspects ran out before they were able to steal anything.

The suspects took off in a stolen truck but then ditched it a short distance away. Authorities said two of the suspects got into a silver Durango where police believe two people were already inside waiting. The three other suspects left in a Chevy Impala and were eventually caught.

Less than an hour after the robbery occurred, the three suspects in the Impala were stopped by law enforcement on the eastbound lanes of I-96 near the M-6 interchange in Cascade Township, west of Grand Rapids.

Brown, Cender and Fortune are currently in the Kent County jail each on a $100,000 bond.

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